Pleats, Please







By Michelle Crowe 



Actress Irene Rich photographed courtside in 1934 photographed by Lusha Nelson for Vogue magazine.


Still going strong, and thank goodness for that, midi skirts, especially pleated versions but also with soft gathers, are absolutely the answer to any ensemble dilemma one might have.

My theory is that they are just sporty enough, which makes even formal fabrics approachable.



The most-wanted metallic at ASOS.


There is a hint of early 20th century tennis players in the shape. Perhaps that’s why these skirts look so great paired with classic sneakers—together they create a ready-for-anything vibe that’s just really attractive.

The other influence that comes into play is an understated elegance of the sort that a lady would wield quietly, either in a boardroom or lunching to raise millions for a good cause. It whispers, it’s not easy to copy and it lets a calm sense of self shine through bright and clear. Designers, including Gaby Basora, creator of Tucker NYC, recognize this and are reliable sources for great midi finds.



Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen in a still from the 1976 film Network.


The brilliance here, though, is that during the day, a sleek pair of pumps also pairs perfectly here. Feeling festive? Strappy sandals are genius, too. 

Up top, options are open as well. A pencil skirt is always a chic choice, but anything beyond a sweater, blouse or blazer might look a bit out of place.

Swingy midis, though, love a vintage concert T-shirt as much as a crisp white shirt, an off-the-shoulder top as well as an oversized sweater.

So many ways to wear it, so much style in one simple shape—this is a modern classic if we’ve ever seen one.



Faux leather at J.Crew.